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Jahana Hayes
Official portrait, 2018
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byElizabeth Esty
Personal details
Jahana Flemming

(1973-03-08) March 8, 1973 (age 51)
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMilford Hayes
EducationNaugatuck Valley Community College
Southern Connecticut State University (BA)
University of Saint Joseph (MA)
University of Bridgeport (SYC)
WebsiteHouse website

Jahana Hayes (née Flemming: born March 8, 1973)[1] is an American educator and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Connecticut's 5th congressional district since 2019. The district, once represented by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, comprises much of the state's northwestern portion, including New Britain, Danbury, and Waterbury. A member of the Democratic Party, Hayes is the first Black woman and Black Democrat to represent Connecticut in Congress.[2][3] She was recognized as the National Teacher of the Year in 2016.[4]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Waterbury Celebrates National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes
  • Connecticut Votes 2022 Election Debates | Congressional District 5 - New Britain
  • 2016 National Teacher of the Year - Jahana Hayes
  • Jahana Hayes Wins 5th District Democratic Primary
  • Congresswoman Jahana Hayes on Connecting Policy to the Classroom


Early life and education

Hayes was born on March 8, 1973,[5] in Waterbury, Connecticut, and grew up in public housing projects in that city. She earned an associate degree at Naugatuck Valley Community College and a bachelor's degree at Southern Connecticut State University.[6] In 2012, Hayes earned a master's degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Saint Joseph.[7] In 2014, she earned her Sixth-Year Certificate from the University of Bridgeport School of Education.[8]

Teaching career

Hayes's first job was at the Southbury Training School in Connecticut.[9] She went on to teach government and history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury. She also chaired the Kennedy SOAR Review Board, a "school within a school" that provided advanced instruction for gifted students, and was a co-adviser of HOPE, a student-service club at Kennedy.[8] In 2015, she was John F. Kennedy Teacher of the Year and then the Waterbury School District Educator of the Year.[8] In 2016 she was named National Teacher of the Year.[10]

This award won Hayes widespread media attention. "I really think that we need to change the narrative, change the dialogue about what teaching is as a profession," Hayes told The Washington Post. "We've spent a lot of time in the last few years talking about the things that are not working. We really need to shift our attention to all the things that are working." Appearing on Ellen DeGeneres's talk show, Hayes said she taught her students "kindness" and "community service."[11] After receiving the award, she addressed the annual meeting of the National Education Association. "I am so grateful to be a member of the NEA," she said, praising it for preventing the exploitation of the "altruistic character trait that all teachers possess".[12]

U.S. House of Representatives



Hayes speaking at a 2018 campaign event with Senator Chris Murphy

In 2018, Hayes ran for the Democratic nomination for Connecticut's 5th congressional district. Her difficult upbringing was a cornerstone of her campaign. “I know what it’s like to go to bed to gunshots outside,” she told an audience at a candidate forum. “I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning to a dead body in the hallway."[6]

Hayes won the primary on August 14, beating Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, who was endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Party, 62% to 38%.[13] In the November general election, she faced Republican Manny Santos, a former mayor of Meriden.[11]

Hayes supports public education and teachers' unions, and has credited her "union brothers and sisters" with playing a role in her success.[9] In the 2018 election, she was endorsed by the Connecticut Education Association.[14] Her candidacy was also supported by the Connecticut Working Families Party (CTWFP), with CTWFP state director Lindsay Farrell saying that her primary victory "demonstrates the value in electing and mobilizing teachers who will fight for public education, stand up to [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos, and advocate the importance of collective bargaining."[11]

On November 6, Hayes declared victory, becoming the first black Democratic House member from Connecticut.[2][3][4] She and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts's 7th congressional district[15] are the first women of color to be elected to Congress from New England.[16][17]


Hayes was reelected, defeating the Republican nominee, former federal prosecutor David X. Sullivan, with 55.1% of the vote.[18]

In 2022, Hayes was questioned about the ethics of hiring two of her children to work and receive a salary as campaign staffers.[19][20]


Hayes (right) with USDA Undersecretary Jennifer Moffitt in 2022

Hayes ran for reelection in 2022 and faced the most competitive election of her career.[21] She narrowly defeated Republican state Senator George Logan in the general election.[22]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[23]

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Hayes voted for both the first and second impeachment of Donald Trump.[25]

Soon after winning a second term, Hayes circulated a letter to the Republican House leadership urging it not to place Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on the House Education Committee, citing Greene's claims that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other mass school shootings were false flag operations. Sandy Hook is in Hayes's district.[26]

In 2020, Hayes was reported to be on the shortlist for Secretary of Education in the Biden administration,[27] but Connecticut State Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona was selected.

As of June 2022, Hayes had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 98.2% of the time.[28]

Hayes was among the 46 Democrats who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[29]


In 2023, Hayes voted against H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[30][31]

Transgender rights

During the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearings regarding H.R. 734, a federal trans and intersex sports ban,[32] Hayes criticized the bill, stating "82% of trans youth have considered suicide and 40% have attempted suicide. This hearing, this legislation, this conversation further puts a target on the backs of students who are in the scariest times of their lives."[33]

Personal life

Hayes lives in Wolcott, north of Waterbury, with her husband and four children.[34]

Electoral history

Democratic primary results, Connecticut 2018[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jahana Hayes 24,693 62.27%
Democratic Mary Glassman 14,964 37.73%
Total votes 39,657 100%
Connecticut's 5th congressional district results, 2018[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jahana Hayes 151,225 55.87%
Republican Manny Santos 119,426 44.12%
Write-in 13 0.01%
Total votes 270,664 100%
Democratic hold
Connecticut's 5th congressional district results, 2020[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jahana Hayes 183,797 52.58%
Working Families Jahana Hayes 8,687 2.49%
Republican David X. Sullivan 151,988 43.48%
Independent Bruce W. Walczak 5,052 1.45%
Total votes 349,524 100%
Democratic hold
Connecticut's 5th congressional district results, 2022[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jahana Hayes (incumbent) 127,838 50.39%
Republican George Logan 125,834 49.61%
Total votes 253,672 100.0
Democratic hold

See also


  1. ^ "School of Education Archives". February 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b ZHOU, AMANDA; BARNUM, MATT (August 15, 2018). "Jahana Hayes, nation's top teacher in 2016, is headed to Congress after the victory". Chalkbeat. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Pager, Tyler (November 7, 2018). "In Connecticut, Race Between Lamont and Stefanowski Is Close as Wet Ballots Delay Count". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Connley, Courtney (November 7, 2018). "Former National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes becomes Connecticut's first black woman elected to Congress". CNBC Make it. CNBC LLC. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jahana Hayes". Archived from the original on June 6, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  6. ^ a b MAHNKEN, Kevin (August 13, 2018). "Troubled Student, Teen Mom, Teacher of the Year: Is Connecticut Congressional Candidate Jahana Hayes the New Face of the Democratic Party?". The 74. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "JAHANA HAYES M'12". University of Saint Joseph. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Geary, Leslie. "UB's Jahana Hayes wins National Teacher of the Year". UB News. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Pazniokas, Mark (June 22, 2018). "AFL-CIO endorses Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Jahana Hayes". The CT Mirror. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Eversly, Melanie (August 19, 2018). "She 'inspires her students': Jahana Hayes on track to become Connecticut's first Black Congressional Democrat". the grio. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (August 15, 2018). "Who is Jahana Hayes, the Connecticut candidate who could make history?". FOX News. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Hayas, Jahana. "National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes addresses fellow NEA members". National Education Association. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  13. ^ Cohen, Rachel M.; Grim, Ryan (August 14, 2018). "JAHANA HAYES CRUSHES PARTY-BACKED CANDIDATE IN A LANDSLIDE". The Intercept. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Vigdor, Neil. "Educators Endorse Former National Teacher Of The Year Jahana Hayes For Congress". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Hess, Abigail (November 7, 2018). "Ayanna Pressley makes history as Massachusetts' first black woman elected to Congress". CNBC.
  16. ^ Balingit, Moriah. "She was a teen mother who became teacher of the year. Now, Jahana Hayes wants to become Connecticut's first black Democratic member of Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  17. ^ "Women of Color in Congress". History, Art, & Archives. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  18. ^ "Connecticut Election Results: Fifth Congressional District". The New York Times. November 3, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  19. ^ "Some raise questions about Rep. Jahana Hayes' decision to hire her two children as campaign staffers". February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  20. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (February 2, 2022). "Rep. Jahana Hayes' challenger calls for probe of her children's role in campaign". Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  21. ^ McQuaid, Hugh (May 13, 2022). "CT's Congressional Races Take Shape". CT News Junkie. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  22. ^ Hagen, Lisa; Monk, Ginny (November 10, 2022). "Jahana Hayes re-elected in CT's 5th District, beating George Logan". CT Mirror. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  23. ^ "Jahana Hayes". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 2, 2023.
  24. ^ "Members". House Pro Choice Caucus. August 19, 2021.
  25. ^ Lessard, Rick (January 13, 2021). "CT lawmakers react to President Trump's second impeachment". Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  26. ^ Michael Hamad (January 28, 2021). "Rep. Jahana Hayes asks Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene not be seated on House Education Committee after she questioned legitimacy of Sandy Hook shooting". The Hartford Courant.
  27. ^ Munson, Emilie (November 11, 2020). "Here are the CT leaders who could end up in Biden's administration". Stamford Advocate. Stamford Advocate. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  28. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  29. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  30. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023".
  31. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". Associated Press. March 8, 2023.
  32. ^ "'Cowardly': House GOP revives national ban of trans women and girls from team sports". The Independent. March 8, 2023.
  33. ^ "House committee advances bills on parents' rights, women's sports". K-12 Dive.
  34. ^ Connley, Courtney (August 15, 2018). "2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes could become Connecticut's first black Democrat in Congress". CNBC. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  35. ^ "2018 Connecticut primary election results". Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  36. ^ "2018 Connecticut general election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  37. ^ "2020 Connecticut general election results". Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  38. ^ "2022 General Election - Representative in Congress - District 5". Connecticut Secretary of State.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 28 May 2024, at 16:15
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